Common Essay

Pre-Essay Discussion

In the article “Freedom of Speech: Which Country has the Most?” Alex Gray states that “[S]aying what you like is more accepted in the United States than anywhere else.” However, as Johnathan Turley points out, many Western nations, including Canada, Great Britain, France, and even the United States, are becoming less tolerant of ideas that promote intolerance. Turley asserts that “The very right that laid the foundation for Western civilization is increasingly viewed as a nuisance, if not a threat. Whether speech is deemed inflammatory or hateful or discriminatory or simply false, society is denying speech rights in the name of tolerance, enforcing mutual respect through categorical censorship.” While the United States remains more tolerant of free speech rights than any other country in the world, globalization and our increasingly diverse culture have brought this freedom into conflict with many minority groups and even other countries. At some point in the near future, Americans will have to decide whether to doggedly defend our First Amendment rights against a growing ideology that Feldman says “value[s] the democratic collective and the capacity of all citizens to participate fully in it” over “the right of the individual to self-expression” or to adopt the more European philosophy of restricting freedom of speech in the name of social harmony.

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Statements & Questions

Do you believe it is important that as Americans—as members of a “melting pot” society—we try to minimize offense to all groups? Should there be more restrictions to freedom of speech and expression of ideas, such as those described by Feldman and Turley? Why or why not?

Support your Position/Research

 Keeping in mind the questions above, clearly defines and understands the issue or problem by choosing a side on this issue and indicate your position in a clear thesis statement.

 Accurately identify the core issues/key concepts/depth and breadth of problem (body) by supporting your thesis with credible research with valid resources.

 State relevant and significant points of view with fair-mindedness toward the problem and all relevant points of view (text support). In order to use both required sources, you need to use one for support and one for rebuttal.

Global Distinction Connection:

 Research another country’s (or countries’) policy on PC language and freedom of speech and present your

findings within your paper to compare/contrast and/or evaluate in order to support your argument.

 Follow where evidence and reasoning lead to obtain defensible, thoughtful, logical conclusions or solutions

(analysis).

While supporting your position, keep in mind…

 Make deep rather than superficial inferences that are consistent with one another.

 Identify the most significant implications and consequences of the reasoning (positive or negative).

 Distinguish probable from improbable implications/solutions.

 Global Distinction Connection: to help understand different cultures’ treatment of this particular issue and to

contrast that treatment to America’s treatment of PC language and freedom of speech. Overall, the purpose is to help understand the value of examining other cultures in order to gain new perspectives.

Format

 Using APA format, write a 4-5-page essay that uses summary, paraphrase, and direct quotations that support your argument.

 Support your position with examples from at least two of the primary works listed and 2-3 secondary sources (proceeding page).

 Cite and document your sources and include a References page.

 For this essay, you are not permitted to seek help from anyone, including tutors in the Writing Center.

Primary Sources

 “Shut Up and Play Nice” by Jonathan Turley: Article or https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/shut-up-and-play-nice-how-the-western-world-is-limiting- free-speech/2012/10/12/e0573bd4-116d-11e2-a16b- 2c110031514a_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d7057eea4bc9

 “Free Speech in Europe Isn’t What Americans Think” by Noah Feldman: Article orhttps://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2017-03-19/free-speech-in-europe-isn-t-what-americans- think

 “Freedom of Speech: Which Country has the Most?” by Alex Gray: Article orhttps://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/11/freedom-of-speech-country-comparison/

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